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Pain under Left Shoulder Blade


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#1 Richie3Jack

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:46 PM

Since I've come back to the game I occasionally get some pain under my left shoulder blade when I hit balls.  Usually a good day of rest helps and then it will be a bit sore for about a week or two and then go away.  Then it will come back a few weeks later.  Went out to play today and it flared up again and had to quit after 5 holes (and I was -2, so it wasn't like I quit because I was playing poorly).

I've searched around the web and I *think* it sounds like I have some sort of subscapular bursitis.  Anybody else have this problem?




3JACK


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#2 Josh The Nosh

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:08 PM

i have a wierd thing under my left shoudler blade it makes a noise like its not connected properly :( hurts a bit but nothing to bad

#3 Squicker

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:13 PM

Josh...Also investigate thorasic inlet syndrome. I experienced the same conditions 2 years ago and a chiropractor cleared it up in 2 visits.

#4 TheWoat

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:10 PM

I had the same pain in my shoulder blade, on the side closest to the spine, and it was because (I think) I was pulling too hard with my shoulder to power the swing.  The two month break from golf made it go away, and Im using my whole body more to swing.

#5 dietz

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:23 PM

Richie,
Not really sure what it is..... BUT a simple stretch may help !!??
If the door is hinged on the left, put the left side of your body square to the right side (knob side) of the door. Extend the left arm and grab the right jam. Bend at the knees slightly and pull the body back so you feel the stretch in the back.
This link has a picture and may explain it better: http://beebleblog.co...he-lat-stretch/


#6 stone71

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:03 PM

3Jack,  i've a similar problem that flares up when my arms get caught behind me in the downswing transition.
It feels muscular to me, but it's in the same area as yours.
It serves as a reminder during the backswing to stop my arms when my shoulders do, as that is a problem for me, and i've got a lingering injury because of it.
Dunno if my comments will help at all, but i hope they do.

#7 DLiver

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:18 AM

I've got something similar on my right side. A pain between my spine and right shoulder blade, plus pain in my right arm, particularly my right elbow. I've also got some numbness in the last 3 fingers of my right hand. My chiro says I'm impinging the nerve that serves the right arm. He worked on it yesterday, but it is only marginally better. Sitting up straight makes my whole right arm ache, so I can't work at a desk. I'm thinking about calling my doc today and seeing what he says.

#8 Richie3Jack

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:21 AM

Yes, it's definitely a muscular/joint problem.  Sounds like an inflammation problem, but I cannot take anti-inflammatory drugs due to possible health issues.  Before when it was happening, I just chalked it up to hitting off some hard mats and the cold weather.  But lately it's been warm out and I've been hitting only off of grass.  
Hopefully, I can meet with a certain chiro today and get it treated.  




3JACK

#9 darpar

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:05 AM

I've had a similar sensation of pain that starts at the left shoulder blade area,
and runs down the left arm from time to time.
My Chiropractor  said it was a pinched nerve in my neck,gave me some neck stretching
exercises to do,and it has slowly gotten better.
The strange part,playing golf doesn't seem to make it flare up,but sitting at a pewter
or driving does.

#10 dachtor

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:33 PM

I had a similar issue all last year. Basically, pain in my left shoulder, part of the left side of my back and it radiated down my arm into my fingers. After spending months going to Dr's and doing physical therapy for my shoulder, an MRI finally revealed 2 bulging disks in my spine. I would tell you to pursue it until you find your answer. It will save you a lot of time and worry in the long run.

I'm hoping the issue doesn't return this year!


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#11 TEConnor

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:49 PM

Add me to the list of folks who've had a very similar problem.  Mine flared up a few years ago after I came back to the sport after a decade plus hiatus.  It should be noted that I have minor thoracic scoliosis (spine has a very slight dogleg in the upper part, nothing dramatic).  I was over-eager on the mats, swinging briskly with a lot of arm swings (not a great rotary action at the time).  

Went to a doctor.  He said, "good idea to come in, some folks with pain under shoulder blades do not, and it can be indication of cardio problems."  After we ruled that out, and checked it over, he concluded that I had over-worked the left side and had inflammations around ligaments connecting the spine and rib-cage.  He basically advised that I rest a few weeks without range action.  So I took a month off, did a bunch of PT (stretching and some very painful supervised strength training), iced, and heated the area frequently.  There are some simple stretches for warming up and conditioning the upper spine...any good PT will help you.  I highly recommend seeing a doctor about this followed by PT.  Back pain is not something to home-remedy, in my opinion...and that is coming from a guy that is not shy of a little DIY surgery when duty calls...

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#12 jgolfer33

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:01 PM

3Jack- Just went to an orthopedist with the same exact symptoms.  Been bothering me for a while...just when I think its gone it comes back (on both mats or grass). Took x-rays just in case, but ultimately said it was either bursitis or muscular (claimed it didn't matter, treatment would be the same)...and told me that if I push it, the inflammation will get worse, but no real harm is being done.  Prescribed PT (which I haven't started) and anti-inflammatories on bad days.  Will let you know what they have me doing in therapy.

Edited by bjs211, 24 March 2009 - 10:03 PM.


#13 justaman5

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:09 PM

I had the same type pain, in my right shoulder for about a year. I would have my son put Icy hot on that spot on my shoulder to play golf. I could feel pressure  all the way thru my shoulder. I went to my doctor and they had a nurse practioner that was doing final training. She askedme to take my shirt of to listen to my chest.  When I did, she spotted a really dark mole on the front of my right shoulder, but only where I could see it in a mirror.  It turned out to be skin cancer and they took a big hunk out of my shoulder. I had the same thing happen again two years later but much smaller. I have two scars on my right shoulder now.  

I am really lucky to be alive, and just luckily was asked to take my shirt off.    Please get everything checked out.  

My very best wishes to you.
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#14 cnelson

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:09 PM

This is incredibly odd... I've been having pain under my left shoulder blade for the past couple weeks. I just thought it was from golfing so much. Guess I should be getting this checked out. Hopefully it isn't anything serious. I'm only 19, and already had my appendix explode at the end of the summer. grrrr!
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#15 martinez

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:35 PM

 Richie3Jack, on Mar 24 2009, 11:21 PM, said:

Yes, it's definitely a muscular/joint problem.  Sounds like an inflammation problem, but I cannot take anti-inflammatory drugs due to possible health issues.  Before when it was happening, I just chalked it up to hitting off some hard mats and the cold weather.  But lately it's been warm out and I've been hitting only off of grass.  
Hopefully, I can meet with a certain chiro today and get it treated.  




3JACK
3Jack,

Do not stretch it!!!! At least before checking with a professional. I would at a best guess say you are over extending the muscles around your scapula. That comes from overly tight pecs and I would say that the injury you describe is common for people trying to keep their upper left arm on their chest.....are you doing that? So stretch your chest as opposed to where you feel the pain imo.

You need to feel the connection more in the armpit with the tricep and very top of the bicep which will keep your shoulder down and in place and keep any over extension of the muscles around the scapula from happening.


#16 jgolfer33

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:39 PM

Martinez that's spot on based on my PT session today (of course 3Jack's issue could ultimately be different).  Said that I'd follow up last night, and basically the number one thing the therapist has me working on is stretching out the chest.  Apparently this is fairly common due to sitting at a desk, driving, etc.. The other things we worked on were stretching the neck and strengthening the area around the shoulder blades (nothing more than pulling the shoulder blades back and down and holding for 3 seconds X 3).  Anyway, good luck getting it straightened it out.

#17 zberk

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:53 PM

I've had a similar issue a number of times.  How much time do you spend on the computer?  It may be a combination of things causing your pain.  Years ago, I spent 12 hrs/day on the computer and had a similar prob.  When I started really practicing golf a lot, the prob came back.  Yoga (child's pose), massage therapy, and some ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) with rest (and beer) helped.  I've also seen a Vietnamese healer who works wonders.  His consistent advise is somewhat like Martinez suggested; the pain is on the opposite side of the real problem/cause of injury.  Could be pecs or right side.

Hope you feel better.

#18 Qstick333

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 07:21 AM

I know this is a pretty old post - but I am having a similar soreness at the base of my left shoulder blade around my back on the armpit side. Just some general soreness and it seems like I have a little extra catching/popping then usual. Curious if you guys ever had any popping/catching etc... with your issues and did they clear up? I have 14 pins in my right shoulder from a labrum, rotator cuff and bicep complete tear along with a broken shoulder blade, so I am hoping this is rather minor and goes away.....

Edited by Qstick333, 21 June 2010 - 07:22 AM.


#19 URStillAway

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:10 AM

 DLiver, on 24 March 2009 - 07:18 AM, said:

I've got something similar on my right side. A pain between my spine and right shoulder blade, plus pain in my right arm, particularly my right elbow. I've also got some numbness in the last 3 fingers of my right hand. My chiro says I'm impinging the nerve that serves the right arm. He worked on it yesterday, but it is only marginally better. Sitting up straight makes my whole right arm ache, so I can't work at a desk. I'm thinking about calling my doc today and seeing what he says.


I had that problem. Two disks in my neck had degenerated and the nerves were being pinched. Very touchy situation. Eventually had to go for a fusion and the problem went away.

The soreness around the shoulder blade was muscle spasms caused the nerves being pinched. My chiro would not touch it as he felt he would cause more problems.
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#20 tyro

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:54 AM

Bringing this one BACK from the dead...  (pun intended)

I've had the same issue on the right side and now the left side.  I have been to my doc, the PT, chiro, and finally a swing analysis.  I have tight shoulders, which are slowly getting better with the stretches the PT gave me.  The chiro made things way worse, and brought back some old lower back pain, so I stopped that immediately.  The swing analysis showed I was doing the "classic Chicken-Wing".  I know that it sounds like something from Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it's when you bow your elbow out either in the backswing or the follow through "pose".  I stopped it on the backswing, which alleviated the right side pain, but seem to be doing the "funky chicken" (as I call it) on the follow through now.  This is causing the left side scapula to get torqued really bad.

Right now I'm using a Thera-Cane that my PT gave me to trigger point massage the areas in pain.  It hurts like the dickens, but after a session I'm about ready to go.  It does a fantastic job of pinpointing the exact area that needs work.  It's much better than laying on a tennis ball, etc...  It's a weirdlooking J-shaped apparatus with knobs on the ends, but MAN!  This thing works wonders for reaching those hard to reach areas.  Highly recommended and worth the ~$50.

Anyway, this has been my experience and is only an N=1; very anecdotal.  Take it with a grain of salt.  Be sure and get checked out if it lasts more than a very short period.  We are all different and it could be anything.  For me, I find it important to get these things rooted out and taken care of so that I can play golf into my later years.

Good luck!

Edited by tyro, 14 July 2012 - 09:57 AM.

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#21 snafu34

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:56 PM

Yes tryo-  Your on to something.  Google up "trigger points"   Along with the Thera-Cane there is the Body Back Buddy and Backnobber

#22 Slugsy

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:26 PM

Unbelievable, having the same issue, firstly with left and now right. Physio not working I'm afraid, very frustrating

#23 butch33611

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:56 PM

Ive had a pain in my left side most of the summer. Sort of uder the armpit and deep in my side. Its not terrible bad so ive been just playing through it. I probably should take some time off but I wont. It'll have all winter to heal.

#24 ihatebogeys

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:39 PM

Same thing. I had torn cartilage. Physical therapy didn't help until we found that all the pain came from that. Once we did and it was massages out I was fine.

#25 Bonesteel9

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:58 PM

I've been battling shoulder pain sice high school football. But doesn't hurt in the back of your shoulder, right above your lat? If so it could be a number of things but for me it was torn cartoledge in the joint. A torn labrum. A very common shoulder injury. Could also be a number of things. Clench your hands together behind your back and lift them towards your head. If this exercise triggers a lot of pain it is likely it is torn cartoledge in your joint (labrum) or could also be rotator cuff, neither of which is any fun to deal with.


I know this because I've had 2 shoulder surgeries since high school ad have dislocated brh shoulders twice, yeah my shoulders suck!! It's a blast trying to get comfortable while sleeping.


#26 tyro

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

Well, I wanted to follow up on my previous post (#20).

The pain finally got to a point where I just could not play any more.  None of the stretching or PT exercises were making anything any better.  I finally went to the doctor and the doctor ordered an x-ray.  I'm thinking, "Yeah, right!?"  Lo and behold!  There it is!  The x-ray shows a posterior lateral rib fracture on the left side, exactly where the pain is located.

She said 6 weeks off to heal and then start back slowly.  Obviously I am doing something in my swing to cause the muscles around the rib to crack it.  I have had ZERO other trauma...no falls, hits, coughing. etc...  Nothing!  I never thought I'd say I broke my first bone playing golf!?!?!

My plan is to head to a swing coach to see if someone can give me some guidance with what I am doing.  I'm betting that I've got some nasty swing flaw that will jump right out.  For the time being, I'm watching lots of golf on TV and cruising the BST far too often.
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#27 fairway44

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

This is what helped me with pain near the left shoulder blade.  Stand in front of an outside corner somewhere - I use a square column in my house.  Lean back and place the area between your spine and the shoulder blade, where your pain is, at the corner edge and press hard and move around a bit, massaging the area.  You may feel the muscle knots passing under the corner edge - it's like rubbing a wad of gristle over the edge.  Now try your pain-free side to compare - the pain free side should pretty much glide smoothly across the edge.  If this is the case, you've probably got a muscle knot issue.  I have about 4 knots.  Massage your knots on the edge this way a good 5 or 6 times a day and after golfing.  My issue, which dogged me for over a year, became manageable in just a couple days.  I can hit several buckets now, where before a single bucket would lay me up for a week.  The knots are there but seem to be slowly shrinking.

Good luck.....

Editing with a little more info.  The knot may feel more like a taught cord. When probing/massaging against the corner, you'll know when you've found the spot as it will hurt relative to surrounding spots.  The pain will be obvious.

I have another spot in my lower back that has been bugging me for a couple months and I only just recently found the spasmed muscles responsible by lying on the floor on my good side and probing  hard where the pain is with my thumb.  I move the muscle layers around a bit. This knot feels like a taught cord as opposed to a ball.  Now that I've found the spot I massage it several times a day or when my back hurts and the pain pretty much goes away.  There may be underlying spinal issue causing these knots but I've not seen the doc about the possibility.  A Theracane might help probing/massaging difficult to reach areas - I have and use one.

Edited by fairway44, 28 January 2014 - 05:07 PM.


#28 drmguy

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

 fairway44, on 25 September 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

This is what helped me with pain near the left shoulder blade.  Stand in front of an outside corner somewhere - I use a square column in my house.  Lean back and place the area between your spine and the shoulder blade, where your pain is, at the corner edge and press hard and move around a bit, massaging the area.  You may feel the muscle knots passing under the corner edge - it's like rubbing a wad of gristle over the edge.  Now try your pain-free side to compare - the pain free side should pretty much glide smoothly across the edge.  If this is the case, you've probably got a muscle knot issue.  I have about 4 knots.  Massage your knots on the edge this way a good 5 or 6 times a day and after golfing.  My issue, which dogged me for over a year, became manageable in just a couple days.  I can hit several buckets now, where before a single bucket would lay me up for a week.  The knots are there but seem to be slowly shrinking.

Good luck.....
I have this same problem.  I tried what you suggested just now.  It actually felt a little better almost instantly.  I'll try to keep at it.

#29 IH82BOGEY

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:11 PM

I had something like this and finally was correctly diagnosed with a facet joint problem. Hurt just to the right side of my left shoulder blade.  Left arm could go numb if sitting in a vehicle for a long time.  Couldn't sit around much less play golf.  Physician sent me to a Chiropractor.  Don't know if I agree with everything Chiropractors do but in this case the guy fixed it.  The strange thing was how he fixed it:  Literally took a blunted instrument and dug into the bone.  He said "he believed but could not prove" the joint had scarring on/in it and needed to be rubbed.  At first I thought it was nuts and might be doing more damage.  Almost got up and left.  But after about 4 treatments (that hurt) it got a lot better and has been better.  I have hit thousands of balls since no problems.  I think Tiger has had some facet problems too.




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